Business for Purpose Network (B4PN). Weekly Announcement #51. November 19, 2021

4 min readNov 19, 2021

Prepared by Allyson Hewitt, VP Impact. MaRS DD and edited by Marek Nakonieczny, Associate, Business for Purpose Network

This week was #PurposeinBusiness Week (November 15–19), we hope you were able to engage in and enjoy many of the great events & announcements help throughout the week.

#ONE — Flagship Event: Propelling Purpose Summit November 17 & 18

Stay tuned for reports and highlights from the Summit via the Social Purpose Institute (SPI). It was a rich two days that brought together leaders from across sectors to advance the purpose economy. Major kudos to B4PN founding members, Mary Ellen Schaafsma and Coro Strandberg of the SPI who worked tirelessly to bring the Summit to life.

What’s next? Summit attendees voted for a focus on the following 5 priorities:

  1. Develop a framework to measure social purpose (metrics)
  2. Engage diverse communities and voices in developing strategies for the purpose economy roadmap
  3. Embed Indigenous and non-traditional economic models in the purpose economy roadmap
  4. Support all levels of government to create an enabling environment for social purpose businesses
  5. Amplify social purpose heroes in order to inspire and engage the Canadian public

Deep gratitude to the sponsors of the Summit. Your ability to both imagine and realize a better future for Canada is inspiring: Coast Capital, Junxion, BCLC, Lafarge, Libro, & The Co-operators.

#TWO — Business for Purpose Network (B4PN) invites you to join the movement

Diverse voices are critical to building the movement of business as a force for good by putting purpose at the core of their work. To that end, MaRS is hosting the B4PN and inviting you to not only join us but to invite others to join as well. Please share this link with your networks so they can sign up for our Weekly Announcements and better still, contribute content so we can Catalyze, Connect and Amplify this work — together.

If you are interested in past editions of the B4PN Weekly Announcements, they are all accessible on Allyson Hewitt’s LinkedIn and Medium pages.

#THREE — Canadian Corporate Social Purpose Ecosystem

We want to see your organization listed in the Canadian Corporate Social Purpose Ecosystem Map. At the Summit, Jonny Norton of Bounce Beyond demonstrated the power of this tool to identify the players, gaps, and opportunities in the Canadian Social Purpose Ecosystem. This Kumu based model is an excellent, evolving data set that inspired a more visual and relational approach. Stay tuned for the visual representation investigating various relationships and pathways, led by OCADU, and powered by SPI — two B4PN founding members. SPI are inviting you to check out who is on the map, explore what they offer, and are encouraging you to add your organization to the growing list of players in this space.

#FOUR — Lee-Chin Institute Corporate Purpose Literature Review

One of the many announcements during #PurposeinBusinessWeek was this Corporate Purpose Literature Review by the Michael Lee-Chin Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

“This document is meant to provide an overview of an emerging academic and practitioner literature on “corporate purpose.” This document includes:

  • Definitions
  • Related models, theories, and frameworks
  • Motivation for and evidence of benefits, and
  • Opportunities for further inquiry.

A variety of sources have been consulted. To date there are relatively few articles from peer-reviewed scholarly management journals. Therefore, we have included other sources including journals from related disciplines, working papers, monographs and books by academic authors, and research-oriented publications by some practitioners.

Suggestions of other sources that might be included in future versions of this document are welcome.”

While it is clear that academia is just now exploring the emergent field of corporate purpose, we are deeply appreciative of the work of Andrew Micak and Rod Lohin of the Institute for this important, Canadian starting point. We are keen to see how this field evolves and encourage other academics to reach out and further amplify this work.

#FIVE — And so much more…

Today, we will join the Pivot on Purpose event to hear from leaders such as Alex Edmans who will address the question: “What can a leader do to maximize both purpose and profit? Benefit both shareholders and society?” Alex is the author of Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver both Purpose and Profit.

And R. Edward Freeman who will explore not only the case for stakeholder capitalism, but how it is actually implemented. We are keen to learn from “the person many regard as the founder of stakeholder capitalism.”

quote of the week

Though we could have one quote for every day of the year from this week’s Propelling Purpose Summit, we’ll start here by paraphrasing former Mayor Nenshi:

All companies think they have a social purpose because they do good things like donating to children’s charities. But they need to focus all their business efforts on solving our complex challenges. “If we do it right, we can generate profits that are linked to, and align with, our values.” — Former Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, at the Propelling Purpose Summit, November 17, 2021.

Enjoy reading and enjoy the weekend … on purpose.


What is the Business for Purpose Network? The B4PN is an initiative catalyzed by the JW McConnell Family Foundation and the MaRS Discovery District to help build a movement engaging companies to put purpose at the core of their work.

Past editions of the B4PN Weekly Announcements are available on LinkedIn and on Medium.

Interested in joining this movement? Please contact Marek Nakonieczny, Associate, B4PN at to indicate your interest in this work, to join the mailing list or to unsubscribe. We’d also love your comments on anything you read here or to promote any relevant articles you would like to share with others.




CEO Enactus Canada. Past: VP, Impact MaRS. Lecturer MBET, U Waterloo. Thinker in Residence, Australia. Social entrepreneurship, Business for Purpose (B4PN)